Just Bear With Me…

The purpose of this blog is to tell stories.

My story-telling style—call it “annotated meandering”—inspired the blog’s name, and it is reflected in the look on Louis Sorin’s face as Groucho rambles on nonsensically. Unlike Groucho, however, I do get to the point.

Just bear with me.

I originally intended solely to tell “data-driven” stories, forcing me to summarize random analyses I conduct for my own entertainment (I am a data geek). That aim still underpins this blog, especially given my lifelong interest (and multiple degrees) in American politics.

More and more, however, I tell stories from my own life, particularly my ongoing research into the histories of both my legal and genetic families and the circumstances surrounding my adoption.

It is no coincidence I am writing a book with the working title Interrogating Memory: Film Noir Spurs a Deep Dive Into My Family History…and My Own.

Meanwhile, as of March 13, 2020, my family and I have been sheltering in place and home schooling in our Massachusetts home; you may find my “dispatches” about our experiences here.

You may also find stories related to…

…as well as longer essays:

The Noir of Who: Classic Film Noir’s Imprint on the Resurrected Doctor Who

…and this simple worksheet to calculate numbers of true positives/negatives and false positives/negatives using test sensitivity and specificity, prevaence (a proxy for whether a test is given to a wide swath of the population or only to those deemed likeliest to have some condition) and number of tests administered.

Disease Testing Worksheet


And who am I?

I am a data geek with a BA in political science (Yale), an AM in political science (Harvard), a MA in biostatistics and a PhD in epidemiology (latter two Boston University); you may find my doctoral thesis here. While at Harvard, I wrote four papers using baseball statistics that landed me my first job in a two-decade-long career as a health-related data analyst. In 2017, I declared myself a full-time writer and film noir researcher (based on a comprehensive database of 4,800+ titles). My musical holy trinity is Genesis, Miles Davis and Stan Ridgway. I grew up outside Philadelphia (Go Phillies!), and I live outside Boston. My wife, daughters and golden retriever keep me happy, sane and grounded. Really, what else is there to know?

Please continue to bear with me (and invite others to do the same). I am grateful to everyone who clicks “Like” and comments in a respectful way: it really is possible to disagree without being disagreeable.